Dadaab Refugee Camp

Dadaab, located in north-eastern Kenya, is the world’s largest refugee camp and has been around for 20 years.  United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) manages Dadaab and established the refugee camp between October 1991 and June 1992.  The refugees that filled the camp came from Somalia as a result of a civil war.

“The original intention was for the three Dadaab camps to host up to 90,000 people,” said UNHCR spokesman Andrej Mahecic. “However today they host more than 463,000 refugees, including some 10,000 third-generation refugees born in Dadaab to refugee parents who were also born there.”

In 2011, Somalia experienced a famine causing a third of its population to relocate to Dadaab.  UNHCR was able to manage increased arrival numbers by creating rapid response assistance and reception centers.  Dadaab provides shelter, protection and humanitarian assistance, but also faces risk of floods, diseases and overcrowding.

“On the occasion of this anniversary UNHCR is renewing its appeal to the international community to ensure continued support to the approximately 1 million Somali refugees in the region, and to Kenya and the other countries that are hosting them,” Mahecic said.

UNHCR was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1950 to safeguard the rights of well-being refugees.  It coordinates and leads international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems.